Reporting to a Select Committee, Department of Justice Director-General Nonkululeko Sindane explained that the majority of beneficiaries of maintenance payments are minor children and people living with disabilities. In the 2011/12 financial year, 68 cases of fraud and corruption involving R2.6 million were investigated and R2.1 million has been recovered.
As part of the departmental objective is to improve service delivery and reduce fraud, electronic payments have been introduced. It is now possible to obtain these maintenance monies directly into a bank account. Having an account results in quicker payment to the beneficiary – reducing from a delay of 7 days down to approximately 2 days. In addition, the electronic payments reduce the workload on the Department of Justice by reducing manual payouts.
The system is now available from 135 courts, delivering payments to 102,000 beneficiaries. The target is to extend this to 200 courts by the current year end, which would represent just under half the 474 courts.
Sindane encourages all beneficiaries of maintenance payments to participate in the electronic payments system.